Shoalhaven (Berry/Nowra)

Select Society

Postal Address:

PO Box 269
Berry NSW 2535

A warm welcome to ADFAS Shoalhaven.

Our meetings, held at the Berry School of Arts in the historic township of Berry, are a wonderful and informal way to meet friends and to get to know others in the community. New members are always welcome and may join at any time during the year.  No prior knowledge is needed – just a curiosity and a desire to know more about the fascinating world of the arts.

Our wide-ranging 2018 program includes nine Thursday evening lectures. Each lecture is followed by a light supper. Also in 2018, we will hold two Special Interest Days – one half-day (two lectures) and one whole-day (three lectures) – both on a Friday.

ADFAS Shoalhaven retains a small library of books on the arts, available to members.


Postal Address:
PO Box 269
Berry NSW 2535

Committee 2018

Dr Keith Houston
02 4464 2513

Vice Chairman:
Dr Rowan Hollingworth
0417 676 014

Membership Enquiries:
Julie Webb
0429 549 942

Programme for 2018

Thursday 8th February
Art and Crafts Houses and Gardens

At the end of the Victorian era, new styles and attitudes emerged that had a lasting impact on the nature of domestic houses and gardens. Inspired by pioneering writers and designers, such as William Morris who advocated a return to craftsmanship and individuality, a new generation of architects developed new styles of houses to suit the modern world of the 20th century. Their ideas changed the face of Britain. The writer Gertrude Jekyll, in her partnership with Edwin Lutyens, made gardening accessible, informal and universally popular, and helped to bring house and garden together in ways that are universally understood and appreciated today.

Paul Atterbury is a writer, lecturer, curator and broadcaster, and a familiar face on the BBC’s Antiques Roadshow, where he has been a member of the team of experts for over 25 years. He specialises in the art, architecture and design of the 19th and 20th centuries, but has many interests and enthusiasms outside this area of expertise.

House where Jane Austen died.

Wightwick Manor gardens
Detail from photo © Richard Croft (cc-by-sa/2.0)

Thursday 22nd February
Islamic Art: Exploring the Decorative Arts of the Islamic World

This lecture covers aspects of Islamic art in some of the most important cities, sites and museums in the world. From its Arabian heartland comes a wealth of decorated ceramics, carved wood, metalwork, glass, tiles, mosaics, carpets, architecture and gardens of paradise. From Morocco to China, each region has its own history that influences the decorative art we see today.

Islamic art encompasses the great wealth of artistic treasures inspired by the Islamic religion, but there is also a wealth of non-religious art, such as the colourful dancing figures from the pleasure palaces of Persia; the simple mud brick decorations of a merchant caravanserai; or the delicate carved marble of arguably the world’s most beautiful building – the Taj Mahal.

Christopher Bradley began his career as a civil engineer and now specialises in the history and art of the Islamic world. He is the writer and photographer of a dozen travel guidebooks of the Middle East and North Africa. A lifelong interest has been art deco buildings and decoration from around the world.

Irish Coat of Arms

Detail of a silver and copper inlaid brass tray.

Thursday 5th April
The Venerable Venues

Concert halls have ghosts and legends, including New York’s Carnegie Hall, and a leaking tin shed in the impoverished township of KayThema, Johannesburg. What makes for a ‘good’ acoustic? How much would one hear in ‘the gods’ during a piano and violin recital held in the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, a venue seating over 6,000 patrons? Is there always a compromise between striving for architectural and acoustic brilliance at the same time?

Philip will take us on a tour through iconic international concert halls and cathedrals, exploring the inevitable compromise between architectural and acoustic brilliance. He will draw on knowledge gained through two decades as Yehudi Menuhin’s personal assistant, and how Menuhin evaluated venue acoustics.

Philip Bailey, after taking degrees in Agricultural Economics and in Education from the University of New England, became a teacher. From 1974, he taught in Britain where – after a series of chance encounters – he joined the staff of Yehudi Menuhin. He then assumed the role of Yehudi’s personal assistant for two decades, travelling extensively with the maestro.

Indonesian Elaborate Carving

Odeon of Herodes Atticus

Thursday 3rd May
Dollar Princesses

Between 1870 and 1914 hundreds of American heiresses flooded the shores of continental Europe, trading fortunes for titles. They were known as The Dollar Princesses and included Consuelo Vanderbilt at Blenheim and Mary Curzon at Kedleston. These marriages – dubbed by some as gilded prostitution – were usually hard-headed matches plotted by the parents. They may have kept many a grand estate from collapsing, but few provided lasting happiness when the fairy tale was exposed. Anne will also examine the clothes, the portraits, the jewels, and the literature of these fascinating women.

Anne Sebba is a biographer, historian and author of eleven books. A former chair of Britain’s 9,000 strong Society of Authors, Anne regularly appears on television talking about her books. Her latest book is a history of Paris between 1939-49 through women’s eyes, published in 2016 as Les Parisiennes: How the women of Paris Lived, Loved and Died in the 1940’s. It has been optioned for a TV multi-part series.

Dominic Riley Book Cover

The Dollar Princesses Musical Poster

Friday 4 May Special Interest Day: Two lectures, commencing 9.30am
Les Parisiennes

Les Parisiennes is about women’s lives during the dark years of Nazi occupation and beyond. It includes British and American women caught in Paris, as well as native born resisters who were eventually sent to camps. Anne also outlines the lives of couturiers and jewellers, some of whom flourished in wartime, as well as actors, singers, night club dancers and housewives.

Persian Manuscript

Detail, Boulangerie Queue, Getty Images

The Story of the Cook Sisters and how they used opera to save lives.

Ida and Louise Cook were destined never to marry after decimation of the men of their generation in World War One. When Ida became a successful Mills and Boon novelist, they used their earnings to indulge their love of opera, travelling all over the world but especially to Salzburg. Familiarity with Austria enabled these eccentric opera loving sisters to undertake dangerous undercover missions in the 1930s rescuing Jewish musicians and others from the Nazis.

This talk explores the world of Opera in the 1920s and 30s – the clothes, music, celebrities, and the signed photographs covered by fans. It will also show how Opera transformed the lives not just of these two sisters but of at least 29 families they saved. In 2010, the Government posthumously created the Cook sisters British Heroes of the Holocaust.

Andy Goldsworthy Land Art Rock Creation

The Cook sisters

Thursday 7th June
Fluid Arts and the Culture of Water in Iceland

Jennifer’s presentation will show the wondrous variety of Iceland’s water in all its myriad of forms through videos and images. It will explore the unique “culture” of water that has developed in this place of thermal springs and hot baths, ask what effect this has on the population, and how it has become part of the country’s happiness. Jennifer will also present her elemental, environmentally-responsive installations – wave, wind and tidal-activated, kinetic public artworks.

Jennifer is a 2016 recipient of a Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Travelling Fellowship. She pursued her interest in the marriage of art, science and the environment visiting and researching environmental public art and architectural design in the contemporary and historic cultures of Japan, Denmark, Iceland and Italy. Jennifer has a focus on the culture of water. During her travels, she looked at different attitudes to conserving, protecting, reusing and engaging with water and how art and design can bring the poetics and beauty of such initiatives to people’s attention.

Wassily Kandinsky Composition

Iceland’s Blue Lagoon [AFP/GETTY]

Thursday 5th July
Art of the Icon

Alexey will examine the concept of the icon in the Russian Orthodox Church, explain the liturgical and cultural significance of the icons, and describe the role of icons in everyday life. He will analyse the reasons for icon veneration, as well as the arguments of the Iconoclasts; compare the approaches of religious painting in the West and East; and illustrate the techniques of production. The lecture is illustrated with masterpieces of icon art and examples of miracle-working icons.

Dr Alexey Makhrov studied art history at the Academy of Arts in St Petersburg. He obtained a PhD in architectural history at the University of St Andrews, Scotland, and a master’s degree in International History and Politics at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva. He worked as postdoctoral researcher of Russian art criticism of the nineteenth century at the University of Exeter, England, before moving to Switzerland in 2003. He has taught courses on art history in Zurich and Geneva and worked as lecturer on cultural tours to Russia and Switzerland since 1998.


Self Portrait by Sydney Parkinson, botanical illustrator

The Saviour. Tretiakhov Gallery Moscow

Thursday 2nd August
Rossetti’s Women

Gabriel Rossetti exerted tremendous influence over British art towards the end of the nineteenth century. From his early involvement with the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood to his death, women were enormously important in both his life and art. Linda explores Rossetti’s relationships with and representation of women of this period, and compares his work with that of other artists in his circle. His life was changed when he was introduced to the striking Elizabeth Siddal, whom he married after a protracted and emotionally draining courtship. Her tragic death left him shattered and wracked with guilt. She had been Rossetti’s most significant muse for a number of years, but is best known nowadays as the model for John Everett Millais’ famous image of Ophelia: the most popular painting in Tate Britain.

Linda Smith holds two first-class degrees in Art History. She is an experienced guide and lecturer at Tate Britain, Tate Modern and the Dulwich Picture Gallery, and lectures to secondary school audiences and independent arts societies.

Bust of Nefertiti

Detail from La Ghirlandata by Dante Gabriel Rossetti.
Alexa Wilding model


Thursday 30th August
Children’s Book Illustrations

As adults, we carry in our heads images from childhood. Some of those most deeply etched come from illustrations in books that we read as children. Images of ‘Tigger’ and ‘Toad’ or even ‘The Tiger Who Came to Tea’ will probably remain with us for ever! In addition to a wide range of examples, John will examine how illustrations contribute to the development of understanding, and how the interaction of image and narrative creates such powerful memories.

John Ericson, a former lecturer at the University of Bath, was Director of Studies in the School of Education with responsibility for the professional development of teachers. He has worked extensively overseas as an educational consultant, and has given lectures and presentations at conferences all over the world. In his professional life he has developed an interest in presentation skills, including the role of pictures in learning and the appropriate use of PowerPoint. This, coupled with his ability to relate well to people of all ages and backgrounds, makes his talks entertaining and highly informative, well illustrated and presented with warmth and humour.

Bust of Nefertiti

Detail by EH Shepard from The House at Pooh Corner by AA Milne

Friday 31st August
Special Interest Day:
Three lectures by JOHN ERICSON, commencing at 9.30am

Reading Pictures: Are you Visually Literate?
We live in an increasingly visual environment. Images are all round us, not just in art galleries and museums but from the media and the world in general. But how well and how accurately do we interpret our visual world? When we view an image, we make two assumptions: that what we see is what others see and that what we see is the way it is! Both assumptions can easily be shown to be wrong! In this lecture John explains how we can improve our perception and appreciation of what we choose to look at.

Norman Rockwell: Great Artist or Mere Illustrator?
A storyteller with a brush! A celebrated and prolific twentieth century painter and illustrator, Norman Rockwell’s work has probably been seen by a larger audience than any other artist in history. In America, his work enjoys broad popular appeal, where Rockwell is most famous for the cover illustrations he created for The Saturday Evening Post. Today his work sells for millions of dollars and tells us amusing and whimsical stories.

Illusions in Art and Illusions as Art
Art is illusionistic by nature. In a painting, a three-dimensional scene is depicted by a two-dimensional image. The artist uses illusions to imply a realistic scene. Escher, Dalí and Duchamp were leaders in the art of visual manipulation, but modern artists are digitally and traditionally creating cognitive illusions that force a double take.



Detail, by Norman Rockwell

Thursday 4th October
Colour and Brilliance: Women Stained Glass Artists of the Arts & Crafts Movement

In the early years of the 20th century, a generation of young women artists emerged triumphantly into the art world. Following the tenets of the Arts & Crafts Movement, many found a natural home in the field of stained glass – an art form deadened by the increasingly formulaic products of the large, commercial companies. An extraordinary generation, they were fiercely independent, champions of women’s rights and gender politics, suffragists, and challengers of the political establishment. They created also some of the most beautiful windows of the 20th century, bringing a richness and sensitivity to the art. This talk celebrates the work of an extraordinary generation, which both enriched and changed the nature of stained glass in Britain.

Martin Ellis, previously the Principal Curator and Head of Collections Research & Development at Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery, is an experienced curator, lecturer and broadcaster. He has wide-ranging expertise in the applied arts, and has acted as a specialist adviser to the Art Fund, and on research programs at the Universities of Birmingham and Wolverhampton.


Bust of Nefertiti

Detail from Life of the Blessed Virgin Mary window design, by Florence Camm

Thursday 15 November Berry Courthouse 5.30pm.
ADFAS Shoalhaven Annual General Meeting and seasonal celebration.


Venue and Time of Lectures

All lectures are held at the Berry School of Arts, 19 Alexandra St, Berry NSW 2535.

Evening lectures
commence at 7.30 pm. A light supper and a glass of wine or juice is served after each lecture.

Special Interest Day lectures commence at 10.00 am. Morning tea is served on both days and a light lunch on the full day.


The annual subscription fee for the nine evening lectures, plus light supper, remains at $140 per person.

The Special Interest Day, with three lectures plus morning tea and lunch, is $60 for members, $70 for non-members

The Special Interest Day, with two lectures and morning tea, is $35 for members, $40 for non-members

Members unable to attend an evening lecture may transfer the use of their badge to a non-member for a visitor fee of $10. This is subject to presentation of the membership badge on the night

The fee for members of other ADFAS Societies is $10.

Membership between Societies is not transferable.


Visitors are most welcome at all lectures. A $25 fee applies for the evening lectures.

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